MY WEEK IN WESTMINSTER

I WROTE last week about the workings of the coalition Government and our efforts to pull together for the good of the country.

And in that spirit I was delighted this week by an announcement by one of our Liberal Democrat colleagues, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Chris Huhne.

Mr Huhne told BBC’s Today programme that proposals to build new nuclear power stations were very firmly on track for 2018.

Nuclear power has, undoubtedly, been an issue that some thought would divide the coalition with many Liberal Democrats opposing nuclear power as an energy source.

But this announcement, at a time when the country needs to look to alternative energy sources to reduce the use of fossil fuels and lower our carbon output, is very welcome and shows the continued spirit of co-operation.

It is also very good news for employment in Fylde.

With 10 sites already identified for new power stations, the former BNFL site at Springfields, now owned by Toshiba Westinghouse, will undoubtedly be a key player.

I know all this must seem a long way down the road for many people but the expertise we hold in this field here in Fylde could prove vital to the country’s energy needs.

This is another chance, following the launch of BAE Systems’ new Taranis unmanned aircraft, for Fylde to be at the forefront of world-leading technology.

So it is vital we do look to the future and ensure that Fylde does not miss the boat.

Having met with representatives from Toshiba Westinghouse on a number of occasions, I know just how focused they are on this task.

Finally, and staying with energy, I was fascinated to read about the proposal to extract shale gas from underground sources near Weeton in the Express two weeks ago.

If reports are true that this process could provide as much as 10 per cent of the UK’s gas needs that truly is an incredible discovery.

I understand there are some environmental concerns surrounding this proposal and at this stage reports say Cuadrilla Resources are only investigating if extracting gas may be possible.

Nonetheless I certainly look forward to learning more about the proposals in the near future.

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